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Newborn baby gorilla, 50-year old tortoise & pet restaurant


09-22-2016 00:53 BJT

Three animal tales from three different continents: A western lowland gorilla has been born at Zoo Atlanta in the United States; a tortoise at a zoo in Perth Australia is still partying at age 50; and Cambodia's first high-end canine restaurant has opened, with special gourmet meals for dogs.

Kudzoo, a 22-year-old western lowland gorilla, gave birth to a female infant at Zoo Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia.

The newborn is the third offspring of Kudzoo and 27-year-old silverback Taz, and is a granddaughter of Kudzoo's famous father, the late Willie B., whose arrival at the zoo in 1961 marked the beginning of a nationally-recognised gorilla conservation program.

The western lowland gorilla is classified as critically endangered. In certain parts of western Africa, their populations have declined by as much as 90 percent.

Meanwhile, a Galapagos tortoise at Australia's Perth Zoo celebrated his 50th birthday on Monday.

Named Cerro and weighing more than 200 kilograms, he was treated to a special birthday cake made from some of his favorite fruits such as watermelon, strawberries, kiwifruit and pumpkin.

He was born at the San Diego zoo and was relocated to the western Australian city in 2005.

"we feed him his breakfast in the morning, so usually that would be things like a little bit of browse or leaves, and fruit and flowers, and then he'll spend the rest of the day in his mud wallow having a bit of bathe, particularly on hot days," said Emily Trainer, Perth Zoo keeper.

The zoo said that there are about 20-thousand Galapagos tortoises left in the wild. Some of their main threats include rats, dogs and cats, making them vulnerable to extinction. They are the largest tortoises in the world and can live past one hundred years old.

Also making animal headlines... a high end restaurant is serving food for dogs, in Cambodia where owning dogs as pets is a relatively new concept because traditionally, they've only been seen as purely utilitarian animals.

"Edgar Allen Paw" shows how attitudes to dogs are changing in a country, which has no tradition of keeping them as pets. Dogs are not only permitted, they are the preferred customers here.

"Having this environment for everybody to both hangout in and get to know other dog owners, share information, help educate each other on health and socialisation, this was kind of the dream I wanted. And I've been really lucky in how receptive pet owners in Cambodia are and how excited they are about doing better for their pets, both Khmer and foreigners who move here as expats," said Tisha Shelley, owner of Edgar Allan Paw.

So far Edgar Allan Paw has been a great success and owner Shelley already has plans to open at least two more branches next year.

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